U23s: Bolton Wanderers 1-1 Watford

Wanderers Under-23s maintained their position at the top of the Professional Development League North on Thursday night with a 1-1 draw against Watford at Lancashire FA’s County ground in Leyland.

Connor Hall netted his 20th goal of the season late on to earn the young Whites a deserved share of the spoils as they extended their lead at the top of the table and moved one step closer to securing a play-off spot.

David Lee's side started brightly with wide men Jeff King and Dennis Politic posing a threat straight from the off.

Joy Mukena steered his header wide for the visitors, but Wanderers enjoyed the better opportunities in a fast-paced first half.

In-form striker Hall beat the offside trap to bear through on goal, but his strike was blocked well by the recovering Watford defence.

Jordan Allen then saw his shot flash wide from an acute angle following some tidy footwork by Politic.

King went close shortly after, drifting inside and cutting back onto his left foot, but his shot failed to trouble Sam Howes in the opposition net as both teams went in goalless at the break.

The deadlock was broken in the 48th minute as Watford were awarded a penalty after Chiori Johnson tripped up Dennon Lewis.

Lewis made no mistake from the spot, sending Jake Turner the wrong way.

Turner was called into action early in the second half, making two impressive saves to deny Dion Pereira and David Sesay.

Wanderers pushed for an equalizer and were agonisingly close to finding one when King’s deflected cross crashed off the crossbar.

Minutes later, King swung in an inviting cross which was met at the back post by captain Liam Edwards, but his header was tipped away for a corner.

The leveller came with just four minutes remaining as Cole Lonsdale crossed for Hall, who swivelled and slotted the ball home for his 20th goal of the season.

The result keeps David Lee’s side top of the table, two points ahead of second-placed Sheffield Wednesday with a game in hand.

Bolton: Turner, Johnson, Lonsdale, Edwards, Brockbank, Morris, Politic, Earing, Hall, Allen, King.

Subs: White, Aspinall, Jones-Griffiths, Moore, Navarro.

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